Apr 232014
 
 April 23, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes



Campus Insider: The New York Giants Select…

New York Giants 2014 NFL Schedule Announced: The NFL announced the 2014 regular-season schedule for the New York Giants and the other 31 NFL teams on Wednesday. The details are as follows:

Date Day Opponent Time Network
Sep 8 Mon at Detroit 7:10 PM ESPN
Sep 14 Sun Arizona 1:00 PM FOX
Sep 21 Sun Houston 1:00 PM CBS
Sep 25 Thu at Washington 8:25 PM NFLN
Oct 5 Sun Atlanta 1:00 PM* FOX
Oct 12 Sun at Philadelphia 8:30 PM* NBC
Oct 19 Sun at Dallas 4:25 PM* FOX
Bye
Nov 3 Mon Indianapolis 8:30 PM* ESPN
Nov 9 Sun at Seattle 4:25 PM* FOX
Nov 16 Sun San Francisco 1:00 PM* FOX
Nov 23 Sun Dallas 8:30 PM* NBC
Nov 30 Sun at Jacksonville 1:00 PM* FOX
Dec 7 Sun at Tennessee 1:00 PM* FOX
Dec 14 Sun Washington 1:00 PM* FOX
Dec 21 Sun at St. Louis 4:05 PM* FOX
Dec 28 Sun Philadelphia 1:00 PM* FOX


* Times subject to change due to NFL flexible scheduling policy.

“It’s a difficult and challenging schedule, as we knew it would be,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We play a lot of very good teams. We’re playing some teams that we haven’t played for a while that feature some key, key ingredients, some teams that are building and growing and teams with new coaches, guys I have a lot of respect for.

“We do have any number of outstanding games in a row, because in addition to the NFC East, (we face) the NFC West and the AFC South. The NFC West is a very strong division and certainly continues to be strong. Seattle won the Super Bowl, San Francisco played in the NFC Championship Game, you look at the improvement in the Arizona team and the way they played, particularly toward the end of the year. And the way in which the St. Louis defensive team has played, their quarterback (Sam Bradford) being injured but coming back. That’s a very tough challenge and that’s to say nothing about the fact that we really haven’t been in that AFC South for a while. We played Atlanta a couple years ago. They’ve made drastic changes with their team. You saw Jacksonville improve. Houston has a new coach and with (Bill) O’Brien there and the first pick of the draft…so there are a lot of interesting factors that go into taking a look at this.

“We’re not opening in the division, which is kind of a rarity. We know how talented Detroit is…We’re on our fourth game before we do get a divisional game. I think that’s an interesting thing…The bye, again, is in a good spot for us.”

Some items of note from the schedule:

  • The Giants will play five games against 2013 playoff teams: Philadelphia (twice), San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Seattle.
  • The Giants will play four teams with new head coaches: Washington (Jay Gruden), Houston (Bill O’Brien), Tennessee (Ken Whisenhunt), and Detroit (Jim Caldwell).
  • The Giants will play all three of their NFC East road games – at Washington, Philadelphia, and Dallas – in a four-week span from September 25 to October 19. The Giants’ final three home games are against NFC East foes Dallas, Washington, and Philadelphia.
  • The preseason schedule has also been finalized. For details, see the Schedule section of the website.

Flex scheduling will commence earlier than it has in the past, with modifications. For the first time, flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time. Also, for the first time, a select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17 as it has been in recent years. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday, or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 28. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot.

Articles on the New York Giants Passing Game:

Article on New York Giants Defensive Backs:

BBI on Giants.com Big Blue Kickoff Live: The audio of Eric Kennedy being interviewed on Giants.com’s Big Blue Kickoff Live podcast on Wednesday is available at Giants.com. Eric joins the show at the 30-minute mark of the broadcast.

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Apr 222014
 
 April 22, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes



Video: Draft Nasty NFL Draft QB Grades

Walter Thurmond, Seattle Seahawks (February 2, 2014)

Walter Thurmond – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Maybe just before signing with the New York Giants this offseason, former Seattle cornerback Walter Thurmond took a bit of Richard Sherman’s personality with him to East Rutherford.

During yesterday’s player availability portion of the first offseason workout, Thurmond was not short of claims, boasts and everything in between, telling all media in attendance he is, well, the best.

“I think I’m the best slot cornerback in the league,” Thurmond said. “It’s being confident and studying other guy’s tape. That’s it really.”

Thurmond’s self promotion was instantly questioned by a fellow cornerback who plays several exits down on the Jersey Turnpike. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Boykin.

Thurmond is a key component of the Giants’ offseason overhaul in the secondary. Out are Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross and Corey Webster, in come Thurmond and Dominqiue Rodgers-Cromartie.

The 26-year-old was a key contributor in “The Legion of Boom,” a nickname given to the Seattle Seahawks secondary that helped lead the team to a Super Bowl title last year. Throughout the season, Thurmond and his teammates worked to strike fear into their opponent’s eyes.

According to ESPN, Seattle allowed the fewest total yards, passing yards and passing yards per game. Opponents managed an average of just 14.4 points per game throughout the season.

“It’s that mindset of being physical and having teams fear you,” Thurmond said. “That’s the mindset we had out there. It came down to work ethic and how we prepared each week.

“I’m passionate about the game, I love the game and you need to play like it’s your last.“

Thurmond hopes to help the Giants’ establish that same reputation. He sees no reason it couldn’t be “Legion of Boom 2” for the Boys in Blue next year.

The Giants two projected starters, Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, have both flashed shutdown capabilities. Combine that with Thurmond and last year’s starter Trumaine McBride, and the California native senses a recipe for success.

“The sky really is the limit,” Thurmond said. “It’s a very talented group. The guys here are older than in Seattle, but there is a lot of potential. The organization has made great transactions this offseason to revamp the defense.

“We have the potential to be the best in the league.“

Best in the league? That would mean better than the original Legion of Boom, is that possible?

“Most definitely,” Thurmond said.

For more from Walter Thurmond, see his media Q&A from Giants.com.

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Apr 222014
 
 April 22, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes
Victor Cruz, New York Giants (April 22, 2014)

Victor Cruz – Photo by Connor Hughes

Day Two of the New York Giants Offseason Program: Tuesday was day two of the New York Giants nine-week offseason workout program. The Giants are currently in “phase one” of the program (April 21 – May 4) with activities limited to voluntary strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.

BigBlueInteractive.com will soon publish a number of feature articles based on today’s content, but here are some brief highlights:

  • Guard Chris Snee wasted no time before cracking the first joke of the day. When the 32-year-old was asked about all of the new faces, he responded, “I requested a team photo” in order familiarize himself with the team. Snee said the new offense is “different” from what he’s used to. Snee said he has been given no indication that he will be held back as he recovers from offseason hip and elbow surgery. Snee said has no limitations and is 100 percent.
  • Safety Antrel Rolle said he “loved” what has been done with the secondary this offseason and the goal during this portion of the offseason program is to build chemistry. When asked about cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rolle said he feels that Rodgers-Cromartie, in his seventh year, has matured, and is a huge addition to the defense. With defensive end Justin Tuck in Oakland, Rolle was asked if he will take on any additional leadership roles: “I’m just go out there and play ball. I just know how to be Antrel…I think there should be 53 leaders on this team.”
  • Will Hill, who reportedly will be suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing or abusive substances, was was not made available to the media. Several players offered their support to the troubled safety.
  • Defensive end Robert Ayers said one of the main reasons that he decided to come to New York was the tradition and opportunity. Also, his late father, who passed away last year, said he used to wish Ayers would play for the New York Giants. Ayers also said that he plans on playing a bunch of different positions as it is what the management and coaches want. “They ask everyone to do everything….I look forward to doing whatever they ask me to do.”
  • Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul caught the attention of everyone when he alerted the media that he now weighed in at 270 pounds, down from the 285 pounds he played at last season. If you remember, Head Coach Tom Coughlin has made several comments in the past about Pierre-Paul being overweight. “I feel good at that weight,” said Pierre-Paul. After rehabbing his shoulder over the offseason, Pierre-Paul said he’s 100 percent right now and expects no limitations. Also, when asked if his role will change with Tuck in Oakland, Pierre-Paul said, “Not at all.” Pierre-Paul said he “didn’t get the memo” on Will Hill. Pierre-Paul said if Hill misses time, losing Hill would be a blow, but the defense would be “alright.”
  • Quarterback Eli Manning talked to the media in a walking boot. He said the surgery on his ankle went well and things are progressing very quickly. Manning told the media that with this being his first surgery, he’s being smart with it. Manning said when he started his training and running for the season he could tell something wasn’t right. He went for some additional MRI’s and developed a plan to see what was the best way to approach the injury. After consideration, he and the doctors felt surgery was best bet rather than waiting. “This will ensure I’m back at 100 percent for training camp,” said Manning. Prior to his informal workouts at Duke University, Manning had gotten a cortisone shot. He felt that once that wore off the injury and pain would return.
  • Left tackle Will Beatty said that the doctors have all given him positive reports and he’s “out here moving around.” Beatty said that he is hanging on every word from the doctors and doing whatever they say. He said that because the team has not gone full-contact, he hasn’t tested himself in that regard. Beatty said he plans on being 100 percent by the start of the season but was more non-committal about being ready for the start of training camp. Beatty talked about new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, saying he’s very “Energetic” and has “a lot of positive things to add to the team.” Beatty said that McAdoo came in the first day and told the team, “Our goal is to be a top-four offense, have an elite top-four QB, make it to the Super Bowl.”
  • Right tackle Justin Pugh talked to the media and said the new offense is similar to the one he ran in Syracuse and “I’m very comfortable in it.” He said, “It’s up-tempo and we’re going to be moving the ball.” Coughlin had told Pugh that he wanted him heavier, so he gained 10 pounds, he’s up to 315. “I’m stronger than ever,” said Pugh.
  • Cornerback Walter Thurmond III may have brought some of Richard Sherman’s personality with him to New York. The corner said he views himself as “the best slot corner in the league” and said the Giants secondary can be as good, if not better, than Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”Thurmond says he looks forward to matching up with the Redskins now that they have Desean Jackson. He also said the difference between New York and Seattle: “Guys are a bit older here.” Thurmond got a solid laugh out of the media when asked the similarities between cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Richard Sherman saying, “They’re a little different,” before bursting into laughter.
  • Wide receiver Rueben Randle has a very, very soft voice, and it was a little tough to make out everything he was saying. What he did say is that his original plan was to attend Duke University with fellow wide receivers Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz, but “something came up.” From listening to Victor Cruz talk later in the day it seemed to be a family issue. He contacted Eli Manning to inform him once he became aware he could not participate in those workouts. Randle also went on to say that he is “ready” to step up as the starter. As far as the offense, Randle does not see much difference aside from the terminology.
  • Linebacker Jon Beason seems very comfortable with the New York media. He stated that he does feel that this is his defense as it “comes with the territory of being the signal caller and mike linebacker.” Beason said that he did his research before representing himself as his own agent in free agency. He said one of the reasons he wanted to be his own agent was he wanted to be “directly involved” and not “a little kid playing telephone.” There were other teams interested in Jon Beason’s services, but the Giants contacted Beason at 3:52 on Tuesday, only minutes before free agency began.
  • Quarterback Josh Freeman talked to the media for an extended period of time. He said he feels great coming in and last year, “Didn’t turn out how I had hoped.” He said he can’t pinpoint what has caused his career to go downhill since being considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league. “A couple things just didn’t go my way.” One of the things that drew Freeman to New York was the history and tradition, but also to learn things from Eli Manning.
  • Wide receiver Victor Cruz said he enjoys the new offense. It’s a “high-powered offense” and “high octane.” Also, Cruz said the offense in similar with the type of routes and compared it to Green Bay’s offense. Cruz was asked if he could tell at Duke University if Eli was impacted by his ankle injury. He said he could not and “it may have been something he was battling internally.”Cruz said he has taken on a stronger leadership role, including grabbing some of the younger guys, taking them off to the side, and “letting them know how valuable they are to this team and the receiving corp.” Cruz went on to say that the new offense is based less off of body language.
  • Running back David Wilson was excited and as animated as ever. In January, Wilson underwent a surgical procedure to fuse vertebrae to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Wilson said he expects to be cleared for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) but admitted it will come down to the doctors. Wilson said he feels great, and all that is holding him back “is a picture” (MRI) allowing him to resume his football career. Wilson was asked if he sees himself as a No. 1 back and he said he does, but in today’s NFL the feature back doesn’t exist. “Way the game is played today, it’s not gonna be one guy,” said Wilson.
  • Running back Rashaad Jennings said that he thinks the backfield has a lot of talent and potential. He said all are trying to “mesh into the system” and they will “spend a lot of extra time as a unit.”

An “all-access” video of Monday’s activities is available at Giants.com. If you have any follow-up questions on today’s events, ask our camp reporter on Twitter at @92Hughes92.

New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips from Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Article on Today’s Offseason Program Media Day: Player interviews: 10 things we learned by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants Offense: Eli Manning, Giants envision their offense being similar to the Packers by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on QB Eli Manning: QB Eli Manning: I’ll be ready for camp by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

Article on RB David Wilson: David Wilson ‘expects to’ be cleared for OTA’s next month by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Walter Thurmond: Walter Thurmond: Giants secondary can be better than Seahawks ‘Legion of Boom’ by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

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Apr 222014
 
 April 22, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes
Will Hill, New York Giants (October 27, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Will Hill Fails Drug Test Again and Giants May Cut Ties: According to multiple press reports, New York Giants safety Will Hill has failed yet another drug test. Hill now faces a potential 6-game, 8-game, or even full-year suspension by the NFL. Hill will appeal the results of the drug test.

Worse for Hill, according to The New York Daily News, a team source says the Giants are “livid” with Hill and that Hill is likely “done with the team, whether he wins his appeal or not.”

Hill was first suspended in October 2012 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. It is believed the substance was Adderall. Hill was suspended for four games of the 2012 season.

Hill was suspended as second time in July 2013, this time for violating the NFL’s policy on abusive substances (illegal drugs), which was believed to be marijuana. Again, Hill was suspended for four games.

According to press reports, if Hill tested positive again for performance-enhancing substances and loses his appeal, he now faces an 8-game suspension. There are conflicting reports on how long the suspension would be for illegal drugs. The Daily News is reporting it would be for six games while other media sources say it would be a full-season suspension if he loses his appeal.

The 24-year old Hill was one of the best defensive players on the team in 2013. In 12 games, he accrued 77 tackles, 2 pass defenses, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and 2 forced fumbles.

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Apr 212014
 
 April 21, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes
Larry Donnell, New York Giants (September 15, 2013)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Offseason Workout Program Begins: The New York Giants offseason workout program began on Monday and will continue for the next nine weeks. The offseason program is conducted in three phases:

  1. Phase One (April 21 – May 4):  Consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  2. Phase Two (May 5 – May 26):  Consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  3. Phase Three (see OTA dates below): Consists of the next four weeks of the program. The Giants may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA workouts. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Important New York Giants dates of note:

  • April 21: Start of the offseason program.
  • May 28-30: Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts.
  • June 2-3: OTA workouts.
  • June 5: OTA workout.
  • June 9-10: OTA workouts.
  • June 12-13: OTA workouts.
  • June 17-19: Mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

A video of New York Giants players arriving for the offseason program is available at Giants.com.

This year’s offseason program is the most important in recent memory. There are 15 new veteran free agents that need to be assimilated into the New York Giants’ team culture.

“It’s unprecedented, the percentage of change in this locker room,” said defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. “Those of us who are still here are excited for the start of a new season, but obviously it’s changed a lot. A lot of changes needed to be made, but whenever you’re a member of a team, it’s tough to see people go.”

“This is the most change I’ve been part of, for sure,” right guard Chris Snee said. “It’s going to take me a few weeks to learn all these guys’ names…Name tags would be a nice addition.”

“I tried to meet a lot of guys, tried to introduce myself to a lot of guys and start learning a little bit about them – where they’re from, are they married. Just little things like that, so hopefully these next weeks I’ll get to spend more time with each of the players and get to know them on a personal side,” said quarterback Eli Manning, who is coming off of arthroscopic ankle surgery that will sideline him at least six weeks.

The New York Giants’ offensive coaching staff was also revamped in the offseason with a new offensive coordinator (Ben McAdoo), new quarterbacks coach (Danny Langsdorf), and new running backs coach (Craig Johnson). Sean Ryan moved back to coaching wide receivers while Kevin M. Gilbride is now the new tight ends coach. The Giants will also have a brand new offensive scheme for the first time since Tom Coughlin became New York Giants head coach in 2004.

“Sometimes you need change,” said Manning. “We have a new offense, a new quarterback coach, a new offensive coordinator. It’s a learning experience for me, getting adjusted to that, having a lot of new teammates and new faces. There’s a lot of work to be done here, not only learning an offense but getting familiar with your teammates, building relationships there. It also is exciting. I think sometimes you’ve got to mix things up and change things up a little bit in your career. It will be a great challenge, but I’m looking forward to that.”

“I look forward to learning the new offense,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “I’m enjoying the fact that I’ve got to really study again, really look into the books again. Before, (Kevin) Gilbride’s offense was so innate for me that I kind of understood it, but this time I’ve really got to hone in and study every night. It’s like I’m back in college, so I’m excited about it. It’s cool. You understand this offseason we made some changes, we got a lot of guys through free agency and we’re looking to kind of change the mold of our team a little bit, at least from a visual standpoint; different guys, different positions. I’m excited. Any time you bring in guys, new energy, new people, it’s always a good thing, so we’re excited.”

Not only do the old Giants need to adjust to change, but so do the 15 new ones.

“It’s an adjustment but not a big one,” said linebacker Jameel McClain. “My personality, I just go with the flow and see how things are done here and fit in as time goes on. But it is different. I’ve been in Baltimore for six years, so that’s a change of scenery for me. Everybody is eager to see how it all falls together. That’s every NFL season. You come into the next year with a different team. There are a lot of moving parts and it’s good to see how it all comes together. So far there are a lot of great personalities, so that’s a winning combination by itself.”

“It’s exciting to finally get here after all of the buildup of signing and everything,” left guard Geoff Schwartz said. “It was great meeting some of the guys and getting going and kind of building toward the future. Right now it’s so early that it’s the getting to know each other phase. As we continue to work and go through stuff, you bring it all together. The guys I’ve met so far today seem to fit that personality of wanting to build chemistry.”

Josh Freeman Signing Now Official: The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings) on Monday, confirming what had originally been reported last Wednesday.

“I’m definitely excited about being a part of this great organization,” said Freeman. “Obviously, it’s a chance to go play quality football, learn from some great coaches, learn from a great quarterback in Eli (Manning) and just be a part of a great organization. The atmosphere is great here, great facilities. Everyone I’ve met has been awesome. Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

“Today, having the opportunity to sit in meetings and be around the guys in the room, from Eli to Curtis (Painter), Ryan (Nassib), it’s a great group of guys,” Freeman said. “I’m excited and am looking forward to learning about everybody and getting to know the team…It’s a big thing, getting on a team and getting in the offseason program, I’m learning the offense, working and trying to fill my role as best I can.”

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: The Prince Amukamara Dilemma: Giants must decide on fifth-year option by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on WR Victor Cruz: Victor Cruz, one year later by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Draft: Giants pre-draft visits and workouts by Jordan Raanan and Conor Orr for NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants and the NFL Draft: 

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Apr 182014
 
 April 18, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes
John Conner, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

John Conner – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Offseason Workout Program Begins Monday: The New York Giants offseason workout program begins Monday.

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

  1. Phase One (April 21 – May 4):  Consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
  2. Phase Two (May 5 – May 26):  Consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
  3. Phase Three (see OTA dates below): Consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of OTA workouts. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Important dates of note:

  • April 21: Start of the offseason program.
  • May 28-30: Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts.
  • June 2-3: OTA workouts.
  • June 5: OTA workout.
  • June 9-10: OTA workouts.
  • June 12-13: OTA workouts.
  • June 17-19: Mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

The Giants will not hold a rookie mini-camp this year because the 2014 NFL Draft is three weeks later than usual. For more on the offseason program, see Giants offseason workouts begin Monday by Dan Salomone of Giants.com.

Sidney Rice Re-Signs With Seattle Seahawks: ProFootballTalk had reported earlier this week that the New York Giants were one of several teams to be interested in unrestricted free agent wide receiver Sidney Rice. The Seattle Seahawks released him in February 2014 in a salary cap-related move. However, Rice re-signed with the Seahawks on Wednesday.

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: With Josh Freeman on roster, should Giants look to deal Ryan Nassib? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Mario Manningham: NFL Star Mario Manningham Talks Returning to the Beast Coast by TheSource.com

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: Big Blue Morning: Amukamara’s option by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Articles on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Draft: Giants pre-draft visits and workouts by Jordan Raanan and Conor Orr for NJ.com

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Apr 162014
 
 April 16, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers  (September 8, 2013)

Josh Freeman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign Quarterback Josh Freeman: Though not officially confirmed by the team, according to multiple press reports, the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings). The contract for the 26-year old Freeman is reportedly a 1-year deal.

BBI scouting report on Freeman:

The Giants signed Josh Freeman as an unrestricted free agent from the Minnesota Vikings in April 2014. Freeman was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers released Freeman in October 2013 and he quickly signed with the Minnesota Vikings. After starting 56 regular-season games for Tampa Bay in 2009-2012, Freeman only started four games in 2013. Three of those were with Tampa Bay and one was for the Vikings, ironically against the Giants. In those four games, Freeman only completed 43 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions. In the game against the Giants in October, Freeman played terribly and the Vikings did not allow him to see the field again. Freeman has great size (6’6”, 240 pounds) and a strong arm. But he has struggled with his accuracy (57.6 percent completion percentage) and turnovers (67 career interceptions) during his five NFL seasons. His best season was in 2010 when he started all 16 games, and threw for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. But he threw a total of 39 interceptions in 2011 and 2012. Freeman needs to improve his accuracy, consistency, maturity, and work ethic if he is going to last in the NFL much longer.

Because of this move, we have updated the New York Giants Free Agent Signings (with scouting reports), New York Giants 2014 Free Agency ScorecardRoster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Chris Johnson Signs With New York Jets: Unrestricted free agent running back Chris Johnson, who was recently released by the Tennessee Titans in a salary cap-related move, has signed with the New York Jets. There had been reports that the Giants were once interested in Johnson. However, that interest may have been tepid at best as there was never any indication of a meeting between Johnson and the Giants.

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Apr 152014
 
 April 15, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes
LaRon Byrd, Arizona Cardinals (May 14, 2013)

LaRon Byrd – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Kevin Williams, Josh Freeman, and LaRon Byrd Visit Giants But No Deals Yet: Following up on earlier updates, unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Kevin Williams (Minnesota Vikings), unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings), and street free agent wide receiver LaRon Byrd (cut by Arizona Cardinals) all met with the New York Giants on Tuesday. But none of the three signed contracts with the Giants.

Williams, who spent two days with the Giants, told The Star Tribune that he had “nothing really to report.” He then said by text message, “Had a good visit and gonna see what happens!” That message obviously implies that Williams may still sign with the Giants.

The New York Daily News says Freeman did meet with the Giants but no deal was reached. The paper speculated a deal could still be possible or the Giants may be still evaluating the inconsistent quarterback.

The New York Daily News is reporting that Byrd left the area and will next meet with the Dallas Cowboys.

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Apr 152014
 
 April 15, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes
Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride, New York Giants (September 8, 2013)

Eli Manning and Kevin Gilbride – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Kevin Gilbride Defends Eli Manning: Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who retired from the NFL in January, defended quarterback Eli Manning during an interview with ProFootballTalk on Tuesday. ESPN.com recently ran a story stating that the question of whether Eli is in decline “has not gone unasked” in the team’s front office.

“There’s been no deterioration of his arm strength, there’s been no lack of preparation and effort,” Gilbride said. “I think he’s going to be fine as soon as they solidify the offensive line. They certainly made a move to do that by bringing in three interior offensive linemen and as soon as they get somebody that’s going to be productive for them as an outside receiver. Victor Cruz is terrific, but they need somebody that when they go match up, bump-and-run (and) go win for them.”

Gilbride was also asked about Manning’s recent ankle surgery.

“If this (ankle injury) is just another minor procedure, which he’s had many before, he’s never been a guy that is dependent on his legs,” said Gilbride. “He’s never had to run to escape problems. He’s always solved the problems with his arm, his accuracy, his brain. None of that has changed.”

“I think that’s, to be honest with you, ludicrous,” Gilbride said of the notion that Manning is declining. “I think he’s going to be fine…He’s going to throw the ball to the right person and he’s going to throw it accurately.”

Matt Flynn Re-Signs With the Green Bay Packers: Unrestricted free agent quarterback Matt Flynn (Green Bay Packers) had been scheduled to visit with the New York Giants on Tuesday, but Flynn cancelled his visit and re-signed with the Packers on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, according to press accounts, unrestricted free agent quarterback Josh Freeman (Minnesota Vikings) was still expected to visit the Giants on Tuesday.

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Apr 152014
 
 April 15, 2014  Posted by  News and Notes




Kevin Williams, Minnesota Vikings (November 3, 2013)

Kevin Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Meeting with DT Kevin Williams: According The Star Tribune, unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Kevin Williams met with the New York Giants on Monday. Williams will continue to meet with the Giants on Tuesday and could be close to reaching a deal. The 33-year old Williams was drafted in the 1st round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Vikings. He is a six-time Pro Bowler who is on the downside of his career.

According to The Star Tribune,  Williams had dinner with Giants Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn and other Giants defensive coaches on Monday. He will reportedly meet with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and members of the Giants front office on Tuesday.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” Williams said. “I played 11 years in Minnesota. It didn’t work out there and this is my first visit with another team. I’m not sure how to feel. It’s all new to me.”

Williams was the Vikings’ first-round draft pick in 2003. A five-time All-Pro pick and six-time Pro Bowl selection, Williams has missed only five games, including just three because of injuries. He had 60 sacks, five interceptions and seven forced fumbles as a Viking.

“I knew eventually a team would reach out and show interest,” Williams said. “But I wasn’t worried about it. Either way, whether something works out [Tuesday] or doesn’t work out and I retire, I’m comfortable with that. I’m not a guy who’s worried about going home and leaving football behind. Football isn’t everything.”

“I had a good visit (Monday night with the Giants),” Williams said. “It’s different. That’s for sure. But I would like to keep playing, so we’ll see how it goes (on Tuesday).”

New York Giants Meeting with WR LaRon Byrd: According to The New York Daily News, the Giants will work out unrestricted free agent wide receiver LaRon Byrd on Tuesday. Byrd was waived by the Arizona Cardinals on April 4.

The 24-year old Byrd was originally signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft. He made the team as a rookie but only played in four games, catching one pass for eight yards. He was waived/injured and later placed on Injured Reserve by the Cardinals in August 2013 with a concussion.

Byrd has excellent size (6’4”, 220 pounds) and is a good athlete, but he has been very inconsistent, including catching the football.

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